Statutes of the Realm: Volume 7, 1695-1701. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1820.
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Recital of 5 & 6 W.&M. c. 21. § 1.
Whereas by an Act of Parliament made in the Fifth and Sixth Yeares of the Reigne of His Majesty King William and the late Queen Mary of Blessed Memory entituled An Act for granting to their Majesties several Duties upon Velum Parchment and Paper for Foure Yeares towards carrying on the Warr against France Itt is amongst other things enacted That a Duty or Imposition of Five Shillings shall be rated levied collected and paid for every Piece of Paper or Parchment upon which any Licence or Certificate of Marriage should be written or ingrossed And whereas by a Clause in another Act of Parliament made in the Sixth and Seventh Yeares of His Majesties Reigne entituled An Act for granting to His Majesty certaine Rates and Duties upon Marriages Births and Burials and upon Batchelors and Widdowers for the Terme of Five Yeares for carrying on the Warr against France with Vigour Itt is amongst other things enacted and provided That no Person shall be married att any Place pretended to be exempted from the Visitation of the Bishopp of the Diocese without a Licence first had and obtained except the Banns shall be published and certified according to Law And that every [Parson (fn. 1)] Vicar and Curate who shall marry any Persons contrary to the true Intent and Meaning thereof shall forfeit the Su[m]m of One hundred Pounds which Clause was so enacted and provided for the better ascertaining levying and collecting the aforesaid Duty of Five Shillings upon every Licence or Certificate of Marriage but by experience is found ineffectual for the same in regard the said Penalty of One hundred Pounds is not extended to every Offence of the same Parson Vicar or Curate so offending as aforesaid And whereas the Force and Intent of the said Clause is otherwise eluded and made of none effect by several Parsons Vicars and Curates who to avoid the said Penalty of One hundred Pounds do substitute & employ and knowingly and wittingly suffer and permitt diverse other Ministers to marry great numbers of Persons in their respective Churches and Chappels without Publication of Banns or Licences of Marriage first hadd and obtained Many of which Ministers so substituted employed permitted and suffered to marry as aforesaid have no Benefices or settled Habitations and are Poor and Indigent and cannot easily be discovered and convicted of the Offences aforesaid And whereas diverse Ministers being in Prison for Debt and otherwise do marry in the said Prisons many Persons resorting thither for the purposes aforesaid and in other Places for Lucre and Gain to themselves by all which means the Duties and Impositions upon Licences of Marriage as aforesaid are greatly diminished and substracted and many other great inconveniencies do arise. For the remedying and preventing whereof Be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Co[m]mons in Parliament assembled & by the Authority of the same That from and after the Foure and twentieth day of June in the Yeare of Oure Lord One thousand six hundred ninety & six every Parson Vicar or Curate who shall marry any Persons in any Church or Chapple exempt or not exempt or in any other place whatever, without Publication of the Banns of Matrimony between the respective Persons according to Law or without Licences for the said Marriages first had and obtained shall for every such Offence forfeit the Su[m]m of One hundred Pounds.
II. Permitting other Ministers so to marry in their Churches,
And for the more effectual p[re]venting the Abuses aforesaid Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That every Parson Vicar or Curate who shall substitute or employ or knowingly and wittingly shall suffer and permitt any other Minister to marry any Persons in any Church or Chappell to such Parson Vicar or Curate belonging or apptaining without Publication of Banns or Licences of Marriage first had and obtained shall for every such Offence forfeit the Su[m]m of One hundred Pounds The aforesaid respective Forfeitures to be recovered by Action of Debt Bill Plaint or Information in any of His Majesties Courts of Record wherein no Essoign Wager or Protection of Law or any more then one Imparlance shall be allowed one Moiety thereof to His Majesty His Heires and Successors and the other Moiety to him or them who shall informe or sue for the same.
III. Every Man married without Banns or Licence,
And for the better ascertaining, levying and collecting the said Duties on Marriages and Licences as aforesaid Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the Foure and twentieth day of June in the Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred ninety and six every Man so married without Licence or Publication of Banns as aforesaid shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Ten Pounds to be recovered together with Costs of Suit in manner as aforesaid by any person who shall informe or sue for the same And likewise that every Sexton or Parish Clerk or other Person acting as Sexton or Parish Clerk who shall knowingly and wittingly aid promote and assist att such Marriages so celebrated without Banns or Licences as aforesaid shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Five Pounds to be recovered with Costs of Suit in manner as aforesaid by any person who shall informe or sue for the same.
IV. Recital that many Christenings had been unduly solemnized, and that the Parents were not obliged to give Notice of Births to Parson.
And whereas diverse Children who are borne within this Kingdome are not christened according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England and many are christened in private Houses nor are the Parents of such Children obliged by the aforesaid Act to give notice to their respective Ministers of the Births of such Children for want whereof an exact Register of all Persons born is not kept and many Persons chargeable with the Duties in the said Act mentioned do thereby escape the Payment of the several Su[m]ms due to His Majesty and charged upon them by the said Act by reason of the Births of such Children For remedy whereof be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the Foure and twentieth day of June which shall be in the Yeare One thousand six hundred ninety and six the Parents of every Child which shall be att any time born after the said Day and Yeare & dureing the continuance of the said Act or one of them shall within Five Days after such Birth give notice to the respective Rector Vicar Curate or Clerk of the Parish or Place where such Child was borne of the Day of the Birth of every such Child And in case any Parent shall neglect to give such notice as aforesaid he or she shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Forty shillings one Moiety thereof to the Kings Majesty and the other Moiety to the Informer The which said Rector Vicar Curate or Clerk of the Parish or their Substitutes are hereby required dureing the continuance of the said Act to take an exact and true Account and keep a distinct Register of all and every Person or Persons so born in his or their respective Parishes or Precincts and not christned for doeing which the Parents of such Child or one of them shall pay to every such Parson Rector Vicar Curate or Clerk of the Parish the Su[m]m of Six Pence And if any such Rector Vicar Curate Parson or Minister shall refuse or neglect to keep a true Register thereof as before is directed such Parson or other Minister so offending shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Forty shillings to be recovered by such Persons and in such manner as in the said recited Act the Forfeitures therein mentioned are appointed to be recovered Any thing in the said Law contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
Commissioners appointed to execute 5 & 6 W.&M. c.21. to administer Oaths to Assessors. The said Commissioners to require Deans, &c. to produce twice a Year, Licences, Banns, and Registers.; Penalty £5.
And whereas by reason of some Defects in the said last recited Act and Doubts ariseing upon the same diverse Persons chargeable with the Duties in the said Act are not taxed as by the said Act they ought to be by reason whereof the said Act is eluded Be it therefore further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the Com[m]issioners or any Two of them by the said Act appointed to putt the same in Execution shall and may and are hereby required to administer the Oaths in the said Act mentioned and by the said Act appointed to be taken by the Assessors for the first Yeare of the Five Yeares for which Terme the said Duties are granted to the several and respective Collectors in the County City or Place where the Assessment in the said Act contained is to be made every Yeare dureing the Continuance of the said Act And to the end the Duties granted by the said Act may hereafter be more certainely paid into His Majesties Exchequer the said Co[m]missioners or any Two of them shall and may in their respective Counties Cities and Places require & Co[m]mand the Deans Parsons Deacons Vicars Curates and their or any of their Substitutes of their respective Parishes Precincts and Places twice in every Yeare or oftner if they shall think fitt to produce and shew forth to the said Co[m]missioners or any Two of them and alsoe to the Assessors the Licences of all Persons married or Certificates of the Banns published and the Registers of all Persons buried born or christned within the respective Parishes Precincts & Places aforesaid on Pain to forfeit for every Neglect or Refusal so to do the Su[m]m of Five Pounds to be recovered by such Person or Persons and in such Manner as the Forfeitures in the said Act mentioned are appointed to be recovered.
And whereas diverse Persons are buried in other Parishes than where they lived or resided by reason whereof the Duties payable upon the Burial of such Person or p[er]sons are not answered to His Majesty Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from & after the Foure and twentieth day of June One thousand six hundred ninety and six the said Deans Parsons Deacons Vicars Curates and their respective Substitutes shall and are hereby required within Ten Days after any Person or Persons shall be by them buried in their respective Parishes Precincts and Places who [are (fn. 2)] Inhabitants or resided in any other Parish or Place to give Notice in Writing of the Day and Place and Name of such Person or Persons so by him or them buried as aforesaid to the Collectors or one of them of the Parish p[re]cinct or Place where such Person or Persons last lived or inhabited on paine to forfeit for every Neglect herein the Su[m]m of Five Pounds to be recovered by such Person and in such Manner as aforesaid.